Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Market your e-book!

Recently, Amazon announced a program called KDP Select, which seemed like a promising idea. They asked for a 90-day renewable exclusive on distribution, and in exchange people can borrow my enrolled titles through Amazon Prime. Each borrow earns a proportional slice of a nice-sized pot that changes monthly. Also, writers are allowed to offer each enrolled title for free for up to five days. That sounds like a good marketing tool.

Some of my friends have legitimate concerns about this. Amazon has become so dominant, and writers are leery of being part of a behemoth that wants to take over the book world. I had similar feelings about Walmart until after settling into a new town, Walmart consistently offered the best deals on food and sundries for average people. So dealing with them is in my interest, and it's the same now with Amazon. They may deserve whatever labels we want to tag them with, but dealing with them is in my interest.

Combine that with Twitter, a free and easy social networking site, and you have a marketing combination that works better than anything else I've tried so far. My first promotion resulted in over 20,000 free downloads of When Pigs Fly, followed by a significant amount of paid sales. Without getting into numbers, I can say the results are great.

If you're an author looking for a way to market your ebooks, do yourself a favor and try this. If you don't want to deal with Amazon, perhaps you can try Smashwords. I have no experience with them, but friends have only good things to say. Either way you'll need to do your own proselytizing, and for that Twitter seems like a darned good tool.


Patricia L. Johnson said...

When Pigs Fly deserves all the recognition and sales Bob. It's a fantastic humorous book. I am a huge Twitter fan and consider it both a marketing tool and an information hub.

Maryann Miller said...

You are so right about the big box stores being a mixed blessing. They are good for a consumer bottom line, but there is a sadness for all the little stores put out of business by the corporate chains.

Regarding the KDP program at Amazon. I have enrolled my indie books with good results, and have seen a slow increase in sales for my other books. For some the results aren't as spectacular as others, but a slow steady growth is better than going backwards.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bob for the encouragement! You've opened a lot of eyes and showed people what can happen with a little planning and promotion.

Marian Allen said...

I'll dispute you on it's being in your ultimate best interest to support the big boxes, but I bow to your success in writing and marketing!

My mother found PIGS too ... I don't know, too SOMETHING, but I'm looking forward to reading it to myself. :)

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Morgan Mandel said...

I'm glad your marketing is working out so well for you Bob.

I've been going back to Twitter more lately also.

I've decided my next book will be in the Kindle Select Program. The current ones would be too difficult to yank from where they are.

Morgan Mandel

Bob Sanchez said...

Patricia, can you please have a chat with Marian's mother? ;-) Seriously, it's not to everyone's taste, but what book is?

Maryann, I am not happy about the disappearance of the small bookstores. The giants are a reality, though, and the small authors have an opportunity.

Morgan, it's true that you have to take your work down from any other venues if you want to market through KDP Select. It's a deal people have decide on for themselves, of course. I do wonder if you could do as well with Smashwords and Twitter.

Stephen, thanks for the kind comments.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob. Just dropping by to say hi!

Bob Sanchez said...

Hi Pat! Tell Maggie I said "woof."

Ciara said...

My publisher, with my permission, is trying this with my next release. I'll let you know if it works for me. :)

Holly Michael said...

Thanks for this info Bob. Love the website. I'm a follower now! Btw, you've got a fantastic following! Holly. Just getting started at writingstraight.com

cindy said...

Bob, so happy for your sales. In answer to your question, I always start out thinking "single title" and then somewhere down the road I write a sequel. What is the character doing a year later?